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Behind the Design of Liam Neeson’s Tree Creature in ‘A Monster Calls’

A Monster Calls: Behind the design of Liam Neeson’s towering tree creature

Entertainment Weekly – August 12, 2016

By Nicole Sperling

Constructing the ominous tree creature that helps 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) cope while his mother (Felicity Jones) battles an illness in A Monster Calls was an exercise in patience. Director J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) and his production designer Eugenio Caballero (Pan’s Labyrinth) filtered through hundreds of designs before returning to the haunting illustrations in Patrick Ness’ 2011 graphic novel, on which the movie is based. Turns out illustrator Jim Kay’s monster designs in the book provided all the inspiration the filmmakers were looking for: a looming yew tree that transforms into a 36-foot-tall giant. “There was some poetry in those illustrations, and we wanted to keep that same feeling,” Bayona says. Read more.